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ProView – Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Pullover

Many pieces of Cotopaxi gear feel like they are category-bending items that belong in two different worlds – the Teca Fleece Pullover is no exception. This exceptionally warm pullover fits great and has ultimate crag-to-bar style.

Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Pullover

Product Name: Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Pullover

Product Description: What dreams are made of. Sustainably-minded, super cozy, and bright as can be, the Teca Fleece is the cold-weather cousin of our Teca Windbreaker. This iteration takes our original full-length zipper out of the equation and replaces it with a classic snap opening. Great as a stand-alone jacket or midlayer, each Teca Fleece is made from best-in-class, recycled fleece and DWR-treated, polyester taffeta left over from other companies’ production runs. This keeps perfectly good materials out of the landfill, instead putting them in the hands of thoughtful adventurers like you. Love a colorway? Better act fast: Teca is made using repurposed materials, which means that each colorway is also limited edition.

Offer price: MSRP: $90.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (3.5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (5)

Summary

The Teca Fleece may not be the right choice for your grade IV climb or a 10k ski tour day, but it is a warm, comfortable, recycled layer that looks great. It deserves a spot in your pack on crag days when space and weight aren’t your primary concerns. 

Overall
4.7

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Very warm
  • Kangaroo pocket is awesome
  • Looks fantastic

Cons

  • Heavy, not very packable
  • Does not breathe very well

Performance

I feel that the Teca Pullover is best compared to other fleece or cotton sweatshirts, zip-ups, and pullovers because Cotopaxi brands this on their site as “​​Great as a stand-alone jacket or midlayer.” I find that the best way to review a piece of gear is to bring along all the layers that could stand in its place and see which one I reach for consistently. 

The Teca excels at two main things: being warm and being comfortable. I was always reaching into my trunk to grab it while cooking dinner on cool nights Moab or when packing my backpack on brisk Colorado mornings. I also wore it a ton during my “regular” life as well, unlike many other pieces of technical clothing I own. It has become my first choice was a walk to the brewery or when I wake up and need a layer to throw on in my house.

Where the Teca doesn’t excel is in shedding heat or breathing. I tested it out on a few approaches on cold (40-50 degrees) mornings in the desert and I always ended up wet and feeling clammy. The button closure works great, but it doesn’t expose enough of my chest to actually dump heat. The sleeves can roll up my arms, but the warm fabric bunches around my elbows and feels like a furnace. Additionally, the 100% polyester jacket holds onto moisture making for an uncomfortable hiking experience. 

With all of this said, I don’t think these are downsides to the Teca – it’s not branded as if it will do these things really well. So, keep this in mind as you’re purchasing: it is definitely not an active layer, but that’s okay. Unfortunately, it’s just not cold enough around me in Colorado or Utah to test this out with considerably colder temps. I imagine the heat-dumping aspect would cease to be as much of a complaint if I was, say, hiking with skis or snowshoeing. 

Fit/Comfort 

Man, this is one comfortable jacket. The polyester build gives the entire piece a thick, stiff feeling. It’s fairly lightweight, still, but I was consistently impressed as to just how warm it was. On brisk evenings (~50 degrees) where I might be tempted to just throw a puffy on and call it a day, I was able to put the Teca on and feel extremely warm while moving around camp.

I am 5’ 10” and ~170 pounds and the medium fit me perfectly. The cuffs were a little tight when I first got it, but after a few days they stretched out to fit perfectly around my wrists. 

Look/Style

One of the absolute best parts about this jacket is just how good it looks! The bright, bold colors (blue/orange/yellow on mine) are satisfyingly retro. I rarely get compliments on my clothing choices (understandably…), but many people were very interested as to where I got the Teca and where they could get one, too. 

Features

The Teca is not exactly jam-packed with features, but I don’t necessarily consider that a con as it is a less technical piece. That said, there are some really interesting features built-in.

  • Button snaps: the neck closure is made up of 4 snap buttons that are extremely high quality. They snap together satisfyingly and don’t tend to open up on their own.
  • Elastic cuffs: when I first wore the Teca the cuffs were a little bit tight. This made the jacket slightly uncomfortable to wear. After about a week, though, the elastic in the cuffs stretched out slightly and now they fit perfectly. 
  • Kangaroo pocket: the kangaroo hand pockets are absolutely my favorite feature. A massive pocket in the front that fits both hands, beers, and anything else you need? What more could you want?

Weight/Packability

The Teca should not be your go-to piece for fast-and-light mountain adventures. The piece feels fairly heavy (but it IS very warm) and doesn’t really pack down at all. This isn’t a surprise considering it’s 100% polyester. It is the perfect size to stuff in the top of a backpack, which is nice. 

Durability/Construction

I feel that I will have the Teca for quite some time. When walking on trails or approaching for climbs, the Teca would get snagged on branches or rocks and it stood up to the abuse fantastically. The thick fleece material feels like it will be very hard to put a hole in, and the stitching around the collar, cuffs, and hemming is solid and shows no signs of wear so far. 

Friendliness to the Earth

Cotopaxi is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they have made several verifiable commitments to sustainable business practices. The Teca fleece is an interesting piece specifically because it is made from 100% recycled polyester. According to their website, “each Teca Fleece is made from best-in-class, recycled fleece and DWR-treated, polyester taffeta left over from other companies’ production runs.” Additionally, each colorway that they produce is limited by the availability of source materials, so each iteration may be unique!

Final Word

The Teca Fleece may not be the right choice for your grade IV climb or a 10k ski tour day, but it is a warm, comfortable, recycled layer that looks great. It deserves a spot in your pack on crag days when space and weight aren’t your primary concerns. 

Shop the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Pullover on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Patrick O’Hare

Patrick O’Hare is a Senior Climbing Guide at Front Range Climbing Company. He has been working in outdoor education for eight years and loves helping individuals progress in their climbing careers. You can keep up with his climbing and photography @pjophoto. 

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